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February 2010

by Wilson Morales


Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Director: Martin Scorsese
Screenwriter: Laeta Kalogridis, based on the novel by Dennis Lehane
Cinematographer: Robert Richardson
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Patricia Clarkson, Max von Sydow, Jackie Earle Haley, Elias Koteas, Curtiss Cook
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Rating: R (Violence, Profanity, Nudity)
Running Time: 2:18


Now that the monkey is off his back and he finally has an Oscar on his mantel, director Martin Scorsese can relax and get back to making the cult classics we've grown to love him for.

In helming 'Shutter Island,' which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson and Max von Sydow, Scorsese scores in delivering a compelling Kafkaesque thriller that will no doubt delight fans.

Based on the novel by Dennis Lehane, the film takes place around 1954, during the Cold War. When federal marshals Teddy Daniels (DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Ruffalo) find themselves on Shutter Island to investigate the disappearance of a murderess (Mortimer), nothing seems right from the moment they step off the boat.

As Chuck seems to have a clear head on his shoulders, the same can't be said for Teddy. While battling migraines, he experiences flashbacks of his dead wife (Williams) and his brutal days in the war. Making the investigation even more difficult is Dr. Cawley (Kingsley), head of the high-security institution, who seems reluctant to the extensive questioning, leading the marshals to believe there's more to the story than everyone is letting on.

Without revealing much of the plot, Scorsese does a great job of creating a tense atmosphere. With its dimmed lighting and darkened settings, the film offers plenty to captivate audiences.

In his fourth collaboration with Scorsese('Gangs of New York,' 'The Aviator' and 'The Departed'), DiCaprio seems more confident. At times, his expressions are more engaging than his dialogue. While Ruffalo has a second banana role, co-stars Kingsley, von Sydow and Clarkson stand out in their scenes.

Once the audience figures out the truth of 'Shutter Island,' they movie proves to be a chilling mystery ride.